The door has been opened for Māori looking to get into the Māori housing sector thanks to a $35 million investment by the Government and the introduction of the Māori Housing Network.
Issues are being raised over the effectiveness of the Māori Party's new Māori Housing Network policy.
One Māori architect says the plan will have its challenges.
Rau Hoskin says, “Very little has been done in the past 20 years since Māori housing prevision was mainstreamed from Māori Affairs. We can't pretend we suddenly just turn on the light with having all this activity.”
Tāmaki Makaurau MP, Peeni Henare says, "The issue for iwi getting involved in housing initiatives is capacity. How will the small funding and the "network" give homes to our people if there aren't homes to give?"
The Māori Housing Network is a new initiative which received $35 million from the Government's coffers and includes the following schemes:
- Whānau Housing Response Fund to address housing deprivation amongst whānau Māori - this is a new initiative in Budget 2015
- Whānau Housing Support will fund regional community housing development facilitators to give practical assistance to regions, communities or housing projects - also a new initiative
- Special Housing Action Zone (Iwi Housing Support) This is an existing programme receiving additional funding to support more community-led housing solutions
But Henare says, "There is no quick fix so how what will the solution be to relieve the immediate housing needs?"
The Minister of Māori Affairs, Te Ururoa Flavell will attend a meeting tomorrow with Finance Minister, Bill English, and representatives of Ngāti Whātua where housing will no doubt be on the agenda.